When I started to write this page, there were lots of things passing my mind… the typical ADHD brain. What will I tell about myself? will I get philosophical? Will I just tell it straight as it is? Supposing most of my readers will come to this page for only two reasons: 1. You have ADHD or Dyslexia yourself and want some inspiration or 2. You know of someone who is struggling with one or both of these conditions, I will keep it short.
Well to keep it short for those of you who struggle with either these conditions, you are at ThePlace2B. I hope you will learn through my experiences and find comfort in my journey. I am talking to you from my own experience – having both of these conditions, but I am also talking to you from a mother’s point of view – with a child struggling with both these conditions. (This is of cause no surprise, as both these conditions are in our genes and are mainly passed on generation to generation). And then lastly but definitively not the least I will be talking to you from a professional perspective. Being a teacher at a school for learners with special educational needs, and working daily with dozens of learners with either of these conditions, I do not only have book knowledge about these conditions, but I know what these conditions do to different people in different situations. I know how hard these conditions can make life, but I also seen blessings in these conditions many times.
For those of you who want to know more about Ilze du Plessis, this is my story…
In primary school I started with my journey of “self hate”. I knew I was different. I was a little over weight, but those days I just saw myself as fat. My teachers told me I do not study hard enough, because my marks should be much higher according to my IQ (being a psychologist today, I know that IQ is not the only measurement that will determine how well a child will do in school and in life). I saw myself as dumb because I knew how hard I had to study to get the marks I was getting, even if it was only good enough for a just-just pass mark. Then when it came to friends, I had a new friend every second month. I felt worthless, because my peers did not like me. I didn’t know that I was behaving awkwardly (I was a 70’s baby – and those days there was nothing like ADHD – only naughty children, there was no Dyslexia – only dumb learners who could not read). I don’t think it is necessary to mention that I hated school.
But my journey continue, as I still had 5 years to go through high school. Me being overweight was always there, sometimes I manage to loose weight and being normal weight for my height (but I still saw myself as fat). I still had the problems with my marks being way below what my IQ indicated it should be, and with my friends it was still the same old story…. making new friends every second month. I must say, the story took a turn for the better in Senior High when I could choose the 6 subjects I liked most. I also manage my weight much better and I manage to keep my friends from grade 10 up to grade 12 and some of them even in University and I even manage to be friends with one of my school friends today, but we do not see each other so often – but today I know why we are still friends, because she has ADHD too.
Then came University, my dream was to become a veterinarian. I tried it out for 6 months, but it just did not work out. I could not pass any exam. Then I had to make a choice give up and go home. I am not a quitter and therefor I decided there should be something that will suite me better. I did not know what course to take, but one thing was curtain, I AM NOT GOING TO STUDY FOR A TEACHER. I still hated school and I was never going back. I came across something that grab my attention. Child psychology… that can be truly meaningful and will give my life purpose.
WOW! What an amazing life changing experience. During my 3 years study I became aware of myself – still did not think ADHD was the problem, but I now could give my reading problem a name – I was not dumb, of cause not – I was excepted in the University, and yes even though I struggled with Dyslexia, I still was excepted at University with no extra exams. I took a course to help learners with Dyslexia and while working with lots of children with Dyslexia, I manage to cure my own dyslexia. Although I still struggle with my spelling and reading when I am tired, I can say that with lots of hard work and exercise you can cure dyslexia. I am writing this blog all on my own, of course I am using the spell checker, but I am actually Afrikaans (South Africa) and the spell checker is not working overtime while I am typing this blog.
After 3 years I completed my BA. degree in Psychology and started my Higher Education Diploma (you needed it those days if you wanted to get your honors and masters degrees in Child psychology). I also completed both my HED and honors degree. I pass the screening for the masters degree, but so many things went wrong that year that I did not finish my Masters degree. Only 2 years later I started my masters degree in Play therapy, there I first came in contact with ADHD, but still did not connect it to myself.
5 Years ago (2010), my son was diagnose with ADHD, and this was when I recognized the symptoms in myself and where I could give a name to all the other problems that I experienced through school and University. Today I do not have an excuse for my behavior and the things I do, but I have an explanation and I know today that I am fine. There is nothing wrong with me, actually there is so many things that I am blessed with and grateful for and I will not trade my life with any one.
Everyday I discover a little more genius inside myself and I am so glad to share it with you. You will find the genius inside yourself too when you give yourself the opportunity to learn something new everyday. You came to the right place if you want to learn more about becoming an Internet Entrepreneur.
This is my journey and I am so glad that I can share with you the good, the bad and the ugly of ADHD and Dyslexia. And above all these things, it is such a blessing when you know how to use it for the benefit of others and yourself. Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope that you will learn great things from this blog, and please share your own experiences – everybody can learn something from other people’s journey.
Ilze du Plessis